Greg Allen

As NPR's Miami correspondent, Greg Allen reports on the diverse issues and developments tied to the Southeast. He covers everything from breaking news to economic and political stories to arts and human interest features. He moved into this role in 2006, after four years as NPR's Midwest correspondent.

Allen was a key part of NPR's coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, providing some of the first reports on the disaster. He was on the frontlines of NPR's coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, arriving in New Orleans before the storm hit and filing on the chaos and flooding that hit the city as the levees broke. Allen's reporting played an important role in NPR's coverage of the aftermath and the rebuilding of New Orleans, as well as in coverage of the BP oil spill which brought new hardships to the Gulf coast.

As NPR's only correspondent in Florida, Allen covered the dizzying boom and bust of the state's real estate market, the state's important role in the 2008 presidential election and has produced stories highlighting the state's unique culture and natural beauty, from Miami's Little Havana to the Everglades.

Allen has spent more than three decades in radio news, the first ten as a reporter in Ohio and Philadelphia and the last as an editor, producer and reporter at NPR.

Before moving into reporting, Allen served as the executive producer of NPR's national daily live call-in show, Talk of the Nation. As executive producer he handled the day-to-day operations of the program as well as developed and produced remote broadcasts with live audiences and special breaking news coverage. He was with Talk of the Nation from 2000 to 2002.

Prior to that position, Allen spent three years as a senior editor for NPR's Morning Edition, developing stories and interviews, shaping the program's editorial direction, and supervising the program's staff. In 1993, he started a four year stint as an editor with Morning Edition just after working as Morning Edition's swing editor, providing editorial and production supervision in the early morning hours. Allen also worked for a time as the editor of NPR's National Desk.

Before coming to NPR, Allen was a reporter with NPR member station WHYY-FM in Philadelphia from 1987 to 1990.

His radio career includes serving as the producer of Freedom's Doors Media Project — five radio documentaries on immigration in American cities that was distributed through NPR's Horizons series — frequent freelance work with NPR, Monitor Radio, Voice of America, and WHYY-FM, and work as a reporter/producer of NPR member station WYSO-FM in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Allen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977, with a B.A. cum laude. As a student and after graduation, Allen worked at WXPN-FM, the public radio station on campus, as a host and producer for a weekly folk music program that included interviews, features, live and recorded music.

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Miami's Jose de Diego Middle School, like many schools in South Florida designed to provide hurricane protection and energy efficiency, has few windows and large expanses of facade almost begging for decoration.

Miami has a lot going for it. But as a young city, the one thing it doesn't have is a great, publicly owned art collection. (Though it recently built a $220 million art museum to house one.) What Miami does have is some great private collections of contemporary art that are open to the public. Those private collections helped attract Art Basel, a yearly event that turns Miami into a giant art fair. Every December, Art Basel draws top galleries, top buyers and tens of thousands of visitors.

Few people track Miami development closer than Peter Zalewski. He runs Cranespotters.com, a business that keeps tabs on all the new construction proposed in downtown Miami.

In an area that covers less than 4 square miles, he notes, there's a lot going on. In "downtown Miami, we're looking at 69 towers, 18,400 units," all residential condominiums, Zalewski says.

If history is any guide, not all of the projects will be built. But Zalewski says there are other big projects coming that are likely to add to the total.

A jury has rejected a defense argument that beatings of Florida A&M University band members were a band tradition. The panel found a former member of marching band guilty of felony hazing and manslaughter in one such beating.

Dante Martin is now looking at a possible sentence of up to 22 years in prison for his role in the death of Robert Champion. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 9.

Called "The Example" by band colleagues, Champion was an accomplished clarinetist, drum major and leader of the "Marching 100."

Gary Morse, a visionary property developer, transformed a Florida mobile home park into the nation's largest retirement community. The billionaire died Wednesday at the age of 77.

Under Morse's direction, The Villages, northwest of Orlando, redefined retirement living. It's a community that is remarkable most of all for its size — home to nearly 100,000 residents living in dozens of communities, spread over an area the size of Manhattan.

Three years after Florida A&M student Robert Champion died after a beating on a bus, a member of the university's marching band is on trial for manslaughter. Prosecutors say it was hazing. The defense says it was a tradition more akin to an athletic accomplishment — and one Champion joined in willingly.

Miami-Dade County's sex offender residency restrictions — some of the tightest in the country — drew national attention a few years ago when an encampment of sex offenders sprang up on a causeway in Biscayne Bay. After a public outcry, local and state authorities evicted several dozen people, mostly men, from that makeshift settlement.

Just about everyone loves puppies. But around the country, there's heated disagreement about where, and from whom, people can get one.

While the large national pet store chains don't sell dogs, other chains and shops do. But in several states, including Florida, cities are passing laws that ban puppy sales in pet stores.

At the Petland store in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, customers come in all day long to look at and play with the puppies. At this store, in fact, doggie accessories and puppies are all that owner Vicki Siegel sells.

Florida is home to the most expensive race in the country this midterm election — one of the nation's closest and nastiest gubernatorial contests.

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A couple times a year, the gravitational pull of the moon and sun produce so-called king tides. Climate change is raising sea levels, which means these big tides are becoming a problem. NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami Beach.

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In Jacksonville, Florida, today, Michael Dunn was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music. NPR's Greg Allen reports this was Dunn's second trial in a case that drew national attention.

Marvel's latest superhero, Captain Citrus, draws his power from the sun and hails from a Florida orange grove. And here's his true origin story: He was developed by Marvel for Florida's citrus growers, who hope the hero will use his powers to help them sell more orange juice.

Captain Of An Industry

Marvel's successful films and comics, from Spider-Man to The Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy, have made them a hit with not just audiences, but also businesses.

It's been a strong business year for the nation's theme parks, with a notable exception: SeaWorld.

The company, which has parks in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Fla., saw its attendance drop in recent months. The company blames that, in part, on fallout from Blackfish, a documentary film that's critical of SeaWorld's treatment of its captive killer whales.

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Orange juice has been an important part of breakfast tables since the 1950s, after development of frozen orange juice concentrate made it both convenient and affordable. Back in the 1960s and '70s, TV spokeswoman Anita Bryant even told Americans that "breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine."

But today, sales are the lowest they've been in decades.

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Georgia has been considered safely red territory for more than a decade. But there's a new energy among Democrats in the state, where candidate Michelle Nunn represents the party's best chance of winning a Senate seat in years.

This is Nunn's first run for public office, but she's far from an unknown in a state where her father, Sam Nunn, is a Democratic icon who represented Georgia in the Senate for more than two decades.

With the midterm election a little more than three months away, a legal battle in Florida has cast uncertainty over the state's upcoming congressional races.

A state judge ruled this month that maps for two of Florida's 27 congressional districts violated the state constitution. He ordered the Legislature to redraw the maps.

The question now is when.

Like most states, Florida redrew the maps for its congressional districts after the 2010 census. Some states appoint special commissions to do the job, but in Florida, redistricting is done by the state Legislature.

On the map, it's right next to Miami. But culturally speaking, Hialeah, Fla., is just as close to Havana. And now, more than ever, Cubans are flocking to Hialeah to shop, taking advantage of the relaxed travel restrictions.

"There are more Cubans here than any place besides Cuba," says Serafin Blanco, who owns a discount clothing store there.

Through these shopping expeditions, Cuba's emerging entrepreneurs can buy goods their customers need and can't find in their country — legally skirting the 50-year-old trade embargo.

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In recent weeks we've been reporting on changes in Cuba. One is Cuba's small but growing private sector. The government is letting entrepreneurs open their own businesses, which leaves many trying to find the goods their customers want. The U.S. trade embargo means you can't just order from a distributor in Florida. But Cubans can still get U.S. goods. NPR's Greg Allen visited stores in the Miami suburb of Hialeah.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: On the map, it's right next to Miami. But culturally speaking, Hialeah is just as close to Havana.

In southwest Florida, county officials are fighting the state over a new oil drilling process that's known by many different names: acidification, acidizing, acid stimulation and acid fracking.

Collier County has charged that state regulators have been lax in their oversight of the drilling, jeopardizing public health and the environment.

After being away for decades, many members of the first generation of Cuban-American exiles are returning to their native land. But there are still many uneasy with the relaxed travel restrictions.

Every day, you can see signs of a subtle change in relations between Cuba and the U.S. at Miami International Airport.

More Cubans than ever before are coming to the U.S. to visit, and the number of Cuban-Americans traveling back to the island is also at record levels. With all the visitors, money and goods are now traveling to the island from the United States.

It's a legal loophole in the 50-year-old trade embargo — one that's having a real impact on Cuba's economy, and allowing Cuban-Americans to become investors in Cuba's emerging private sector.

Florida East Coast Railway plans to start construction on an passenger line linking Miami with Orlando. Residents in towns through which the train passes worry about the impact on their communities

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now have laws allowing for some form of medical marijuana.

Florida appears poised to join the club. Polls show that voters there are likely to approve a November ballot measure legalizing marijuana for medical use.

If it passes, regulations that would set up a market for medical marijuana in Florida are still at least a year away. But cannabis entrepreneurs from around the country are already setting up shop in the state.

Semoran Boulevard in Orlando, lined with gas stations, strip malls and bus stops, is a good example of what's wrong with the roads in this busy Florida city.

It's the most dangerous street in a city that ranks No. 1 in the nation for pedestrian accidents, according to a recent national study. There have been 28 crashes involving pedestrians — and six deaths — on this stretch of road over the past seven years.

A lab just off Florida's Miami River has become the base for an unusual lifesaving operation.

A group of scientists there is on an urgent mission to save as many corals as it can before the marine creatures are destroyed as part of an underwater excavation of Miami's shipping channel. The channel — set to be dredged and deepened on Saturday — is home to a thriving coral reef.

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